DOVER — Two brothers turned themselves in to law enforcement Friday after the drone they were flying reportedly interfered with Flight for Life helicopters responding to a crash on Thursday night.
A news release from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office said that both men, who reside in the town of Burlington and are 19 and 24 years old, were cooperating with police.
Three people sustained significant injuries in the crash, according to the sheriff’s office, and two of them were transported by Flight for Life helicopters to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa. The third individual was reportedly taken to Froedtert via ground ambulance.
As the second helicopter was coming in for a landing, town of Burlington Fire Chief Bill Vrchota said that first responders noticed the drone flying above the helicopter.
Vrchota said the drone posed a potential danger, as it could have collided with the helicopter or lost power and fallen near the crash site.
The drone left the scene soon after first responders noticed it, according to Vrchota.
“Our function as EMS, fire and law enforcement is to keep everybody safe on scene,” Vrchota told The Journal Times on Friday. “To have our focus turned to something that could definitely endanger all the people on the ground ... It took your main focus off of patient care.”
Tammy Chatman, public information officer for Waukesha-based Flight for Life, said that one of the primary safety guidelines in aviation is “see and avoid.”
“We can’t see the drones, especially at night,” Chatman said Friday. “We can’t avoid what we cannot see.”